Investigating the Palynostratigraphy and Palaeoenvironments of the Southern Palaeotethyan Carboniferous-Permian Succession of the Salt Range, Pakistan
thesisposted on 14.03.2012, 12:59 by Irfan U. Jan
Palynological investigation of the Carboniferous-Permian Nilawahan Group of the Salt Range, consisting of the Tobra, Dandot, Warchha, and Sardhai formations, led to age determination and palynostratigraphic correlation. The sedimentological analyses of these units resulted in the palaeoenvironmental syntheses. The palynological assemblages from the Late Pennsylvanian Tobra Formation correlate with the Oman, and Saudi Arabia Palynological Zone 2 (OSPZ2), the South Oman 2165B Biozone, the eastern Australian Microbaculispora tentula Oppel-zone and western Australian Stage 2 (sensu Backhouse 1991). The Tobra Formation represents deposition via glacio-fluvial processes associated with the final stages of the Gondwana glaciation. The overlying Dandot and Warchha formations are found to be barren of palynomorphs during the present study. The Dandot Formation occurs between the Upper Pennsylvanian Tobra Formation, and the Artinskian Stage Warchha Formation and it therefore ranges from the Late Pennsylvanian to Artinskian. The Dandot Formation represents deposition in an intertidal to shallow marine settings that developed as sea level rose following waning of the Carboniferous-Permian glaciation. The Warchha Formation is dated as Artinskian Stage, based on the presence of plant megafossils. The Warchha Formation represents deposition in a fluvial system. The Sardhai Formation at the top of the Nilawahan Group is dated as Middle Permian, Wordian Stage, based on the presence of stratigraphically diagnostic Florinites? balmei, and is correlated with the Oman and Saudi Arabia Palynological Zone 6 (OSPZ6). This correlation shows that Florinites? balmei is endemic to the southern neo-Tethys area. The Sardhai Formation was deposited in a shallow marine setting, associated with neo-Tethys opening and sea floor spreading during the Wordian.